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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sue Carlton column: Drop that Twinkie, because Ronda knows best

7

February

Up in Tallahassee, the irrepressible Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Ronda Knows Best, wants to peek into the grocery carts of poor people and tell them what they can't buy with food stamps — a push that's getting the not-shy Storms attention from National Public Radio to the New York Times.

Should Senate Bill 1658 become law, food stamps could not be used in Florida for "nonstaple, unhealthy foods," as in sugary drinks, sweets from jello to candy to popsicles to muffins, anything with trans fats, or salty foods including chips, popcorn and pretzels.

And maybe you're saying: Well, why not?

First, a clarification here, so we don't get distracted by red herrings: This law is not about people using food stamps for prime rib and crab legs while the rest of us worry over the price of ground beef. (The average monthly benefit in Florida, by the way, is $167 per person.) It's also not about people using food stamps for alcohol, cigarettes or hot food, which already are not allowed. It's about banning snack foods like Pepsi and Oreos to poor people on government assistance. Storms calls it "No Twinkie Left Behind."

Keep reading Carlton's column.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 7, 2012 3:41pm]

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